A Moto G Miscellany

Don’t call this a review; it’s more a dump of random observations about Motorola’s new Moto G.

I’ve had a pre-release unit in my hands for all of five days, and I can really only  compare it to the Nexus 5 currently on loan from LG Canada, plus my own LG Nexus 4. But as I will hopefully demonstrate, the Moto G compares quite well to both of them.

Let’s take a closer look…

Speaker

Moto G Speaker

I took this photo to show the spring-loaded microSIM slot on the Moto G’s uncovered back. It was only later that I noticed that huge speaker grille to the immediate left of the camera. It’s mono but it’s loud, and delivers much richer sound than the Nexus 5’s weak down-firing speaker.

Back Covers

Moto G Covers

There are three types of custom covers available from Motorola for the G: (1) The standard ones you see above, (2) a selection of more sporty two-tone covers that wrap around the front edges of the device, and (3) wallet-style covers that cover the G front and back.

For anyone who’s asking the cover on my Moto G is as challenging to remove as when I got it. Short fingernails certainly don’t help!

Camera App

Moto G Camera App

The built-in camera app on the Moto G is fantastic, and easily the best stock camera interface that I’ve used on an Android device. Swipe to the left for a ring with various settings; swipe to the right to get to your gallery as per usual.

You can switch between photo and video capture via on-screen buttons in the bottom left/right corners of the screen. You don’t see them here because they  disappear momentarily while the settings ring is in use.

Photos are captured by tapping anywhere on the screen. Tap-to-focus is achieved by holding down for a second or so. Unfortunately this also activates burst mode, but in most cases I got good results without needing tap-to-focus at all.

And here’s a reminder that I’ve posted a small sample gallery from the Moto G on Google+

Benchmarks

Moto G AnTuTu Results

According to AnTuTu the G scores slightly higher than my Nexus 4. That was unexpected.

In my use performance has been fantastic — apps load super-quick and there’s been no noticeable lag anywhere.

Storage Check

Moto G Storage

Last week I posted about the Moto G’s skimpy 8GB of storage — the 16GB version will apparently not be coming to Telus or Koodo, Motorola’s exclusive Canadian launch partner. Since then Howard had me download a quintet of benchmarking apps:

Each of these have been run at least once, and have presumably cached a bunch of data for their results. Yet we’re still sitting at over 2GB of available space. Nice.

Parting Thoughts

There’s something really appealing about a device that under-promises and over-delivers. Of the two review units currently sitting on my desk I find myself reaching for the Moto G over the Nexus 5 at least half the time.

I was underwhelmed by the Moto X when I trialled it a few months ago, mostly because Moto Maker was not (and is not) coming to Canada. I personally think that the snap-on back covers for the Moto G are a more practical means of customizing your device.

If the dual-SIM 16GB Moto G could be purchased unlocked from Motorola Canada for the equivalent of $199 USD I’d have already ordered a pair of them. Without dual-SIM support the 16GB unlocked version is still an amazing deal for our American friends, and will hopefully prove popular enough for some third-party firmware — that is, if Motorola will add the G to their list of unlockable bootloaders.

But even locked to Telus and with only 8GB of available storage, the Moto G punches well above its weight. In other words, it’s a champ.